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UN General Assembly Opens with ‘High-Level Debate’ and Intense Schedule of Side Meetings

Sept. 20, 2022 (EIRNS)—“High-Level General Debate” began at the UN General Assembly today, with individual speeches by heads of state or government or by foreign ministers, and will go on through Sept. 27. There are also a very large number of side meetings taking place among attending diplomats, which are considered to be of great importance. The Foreign Ministers of Russia, China, and India have numerous side meetings planned—India’s Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has at least 50 during an 11-day stay, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has at least 20 requests for one-on-one meetings.

Between yesterday and today, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has held meetings with his counterparts from Nicaragua, Cuba, Pakistan, France and Ethiopia, and has many more planned. In addition, today he hosted a meeting of the “Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative,” which now has 60 members, since its launching in January this year. China’s President Xi Jinping first promoted the Global Development Initiative at the UNGA General Debate on Sept. 21, 2021. Wang will also attend the now traditional meeting of BRICS nations foreign ministers, along with Russia’s Sergey Lavrov, India’s Dr. S. Jaishankar, South Africa’s Naledi Pandor of South Africa, and Brazil’s Carlos Franco Franca. As the BRICS rotating chair for 2023, South Africa will host the meeting.

Wang’s meetings include the dialogue of the foreign ministers of the leadership quartet of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and a group meeting with foreign ministers of the Troika of the Gulf Cooperation Council and GCC Secretary General Dr. Nayef Al Hajraf.

Dr. Jaishankar’s schedule during his ten-day visit is described as “jam packed,” including multilateral groups, such as the BRICS, India-CELAC, India-CARICOM; he will also have bilateral meetings with Foreign Ministers of the G20 and UNSC member states, among others reported India’s External Affairs Ministry. He is scheduled to address the General Assembly debate on Sept. 24. Jaishankar will go to Washington on Sept. 25-28 for bilateral meetings with administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told a BBC interviewer today that she has no intention of meeting with Sergey Lavrov, but promised that at a Sept. 22 meeting of the UN Security Council, Lavrov will be condemned, and “hear from all of us” that Russia should withdraw its troops from Ukraine. And of course, the U.S. will continue to do what it has been doing, she said, condemning and “isolating” Russia—that hasn’t worked out too well—while continuing the weapons flow to Ukraine.

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